We attended the
Charleston Wine + Food Festival
with friends in March.
Lest you think a wine & food festival is for wine & food snobs only, our favorite event was The Waffle House Smackdown, hosted by Bon Appetit Restaurant Editor Andrew Knowlton!
Four chefs battled in a short-order showdown to produce Waffle House menu classics, after a brief training period at a local Waffle House.
They were then judged according to Waffle House’s signature plating methods and taste, as well as standards that include an 8-minute order-to-plate, no-color omelets, toast-framing-eggs, and hash browns, as opposed to hash blondes :)
Pictured left to right in this year’s smackdown:
Kevin Gillespie of Atlanta’s Gunshow and Fan Favorite Top Chef contestant; Mike Lata of Charleston’s FIG, last year’s smackdown champion (and chef of our favorite Charleston restaurant BTW); Michael Hudman of Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen in Memphis; Chris Shepherd of Houston’s Underbelly.
The winner of the smackdown and Golden Frying Pan was Chris Shepherd, who then went on to compete against a 6 year Waffle House veteran. Even double-teaming with fellow competitor Kevin Gillespie, they quickly proved to be no match for a “Master Blaster,” the honorary title of Waffle House’s short-order chefs.
My friends and family know I would rather have a stiff poke in the eye or be served hash browns that are smothered and not covered than have my photo taken, but The Post and Courier caught me red handed. If you’re so inclined, you can see me, with my friend Ginny and our Waffle House grits & Bloody Mary in hand :)
Thank you for your visit,
Enjoy this is a brief video that explains the smackdown!